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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    In my experience, unless a player is being over-the-top stereotypical, it's easy to forget what race his character is; whereas most 4E races have an obvious special power that will be visible almost every encounter. Even the monster manual gives e.g. the halfling racial power to most halfling enemies.

    I like racial feats for the same reason. If all elves are simply humans with +5% dexterity, then that's really not noticeable enough in play.
    I agree. I like my races to be different, and to feel different in play. I hope they stay that way.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I'd support replacing races with a handful of features - if you wanted to play a Halfling or a Dwarf you can take "Short," getting feature X, Y, and Z, and if you want to be a beautiful anything (but a must for Elf-lovers) you can take "Fair," getting feature A, B, and C, etc., etc., and end up with a list of descriptive physical/personality features divorced from race. However, I'd also list default packages for each race, just so the world has some assumptions the players can rely on ("The villager said the thief was no larger than a child, so we can probably assume Halfling or Gnome" - even if that's an invalid assumption to make in that situation, it's still good to be able to do so), and so the GM can just plug-n-play a race.

    That approach would, as has been pointed out, be too revolutionary for the nostalgia-drenched Next. Keeping with the racial ability modifiers idea, I would say instead of getting bonuses to specific abilities, let each race get a bonus to 1 out of 4 possible abilities by default, plus 1 more if they take a penalty to 1 out of 3-4 other possibilities. That opens up the class/race combinations significantly without rendering race completely meaningless in your class decision. Say, for instance, a Dwarf could take a +2 bonus to one of STR, CON, INT, or WIS, and one more in exchange for a penalty to one of STR, DEX, WIS, or CHA. Dwarves still wouldn't make good rogues or sorcerers, but they could be fighters, barbarians, wizards, clerics, etc., just as well as many other races. By broadening the possible options, it means the list of what you could do well as X race is longer than the list of what you can't. That's a step in the right direction.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    They act differently because they're individuals, not because they're Canadian and Japanese. Your culture and upbringing color your ideas but it does not dictate them, and it certainly doesn't dictate your personality either.
    Of course they don't dictate, but they do provide a heavy influence. Allow me to illustrate. I am from an Italian American family from New York City. Not every Italian American from New York City is a loud individual, and as proof, I offer myself a generally quiet and reserved person. However, as my wife constantly reminds me, sometimes, when a discussion gets spirited, my "Italian American from New York City" comes out, and I can get loud. I never notice, because to me, it's normal, it's the same as my family and their family and the people I grew up with. My wife was born and raised in the south, where if someone was getting loud like I or my parents do, then it meant someone was dying, not that we were having a spirited conversation. So even though I as an individual am not a loud person by default, my background and heritage gives me a predisposition to getting loud, and then reacting to that loudness differently than my wife.

    Another example, the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". Talk to any person who grew up in a Greek (or for that matter Italian) family, and they will all tell you that the movie captured the event almost exactly. By comparison, ask some people of Irish or Chinese heritage, and while they might pick out some similarities, they will likely not find the portrayal familiar. Does this mean that every Greek or Italian family is exactly like the family portrayed in the movie? Of course not, we're all individuals, but we all share a common set of cultural markers that permeate through us and mark our heritage and upbringing.

    And that's his point; a dwarf is stereotyped into being seen as a short humanoid that enjoy drinking and hating on giants, but that says little about any particular individual. It's no different than declaring Americans to be jingoistic, fat, bull-headed people who like steak and Coca-cola.
    Stereotypes exist for a reason, and they are not in and of themselves bad things, they only become bad when you refuse to accept an individual for who they are rather than what you expect them to be from the stereotype. And if you took the average American and judged them by say British standards, you wouldn't go to far astray on betting that they hit at least one if not more of the jingoistic, fat, bull-headed, steak liking or coke liking traits.

    Why is one of these descriptions standard and accepted while the other one horribly offensive?
    Luckily, the fluff in D&D doesn't say that all dwarves are as described, just that many or most are. That players have taken that to mean that all are and play their characters that way is no more an indictment of D&D's fluff than the fact that players also always play their characters in general as bloodthirsty killers.

    Noticeable differences in personality and disposition though? I'd bet anything that there are none.
    Between an American and a Canadian, probably not a whole lot, but I would bet on average you could say Americans are more brash. On the other hand, put an American farmer and a Chinese farmer next to each other, and I'll but you there are a whole lot more.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    What about this:

    Each race gets a +2 bonus to one of 2 different stats. Dwarves can choose strength or con, elves can choose int or dex, halflings get dex or con, etc.

    Then, when you choose your class, you get a +2 bonus to the main stat of that class, for example wizards get int, rogues get dex, fighters get str, and so on.

    However, the important bit here, is that these two bonuses would not stack. For example, if you were a dwarf fighter, you would get +2 to strength and +2 to constitution. You wouldn't be able to get a +4 bonus to strength.

    This means that any race can be any class just as effectively, but you're still flavored by your race. A dwarven wizard and a elven wizard both get +2 int, but the wizard also gets +2 dex, while the dwarf can get +2 con. Bam, races are different, but also balanced.

    Humans could either get a floating +2 bonus, or a +1 bonus to all stats. I like the latter a bit more, actually, since it would mean a human gets +1 to all stats and +2 to their class stat, making them great for being versatile, which seems to be what humans are supposed to be all about in DnD.

    What do you guys think?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Yes, I also support this idea; classes should get ability bonuses much more than races should.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    Listen to Craft here guys; being a Canadian (and I'd like to think I have some experience at playing one) is not about (aboot?) choosing to eat poutine over wings at a pub.

    I would challenge anyone to describe the real differences between an individual Canadian and an individual American; I assure you that it would be a very small list!

    And that's his point; a dwarf is stereotyped into being seen as a short humanoid that enjoy drinking and hating on giants, but that says little about any particular individual. It's no different than declaring Americans to be jingoistic, fat, bull-headed people who like steak and Coca-cola.
    We're talking past each other. You and Craft see the racial fluff as applying to individuals. It's meant as a generalisation about the entire population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    That's not how culture actually works. Allow me to illustrate.

    "All dwarves are short and have long beards. They all live underground and are proud of their fine stonemasonry work. They drink large quantities of alcohol, are fiercely obsessed with clan honor, and will start a fistfight with anyone at the slightest provocation."

    "All Frenchmen are smelly and don't shave their body hair, aside from that on their face which doesn't grow in anyway. They wear silly hats and are proud of their superior fashion sense. They live on fancy cheeses, are obsessed with preserving their language and heritage from pollution by dirty foreigners, and whenever threatened will surrender to their attacker instantly."


    Why is one of these descriptions standard and accepted while the other one horribly offensive?
    They're both offensive.
    You're reading the fluff as saying "ALL dwarves are short, have beards, drink, and work stone." What it means is "MANY or MOST dwarves are short, have beards, drink, and work stone."
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    They're both offensive.
    You're reading the fluff as saying "ALL dwarves are short, have beards, drink, and work stone." What it means is "MANY or MOST dwarves are short, have beards, drink, and work stone."
    "MANY or MOST frenchmen are smelly, wear silly clothes, eat fancy cheeses, and surrender at the first sign of danger."

    ...Yeah, I don't see how that's any less offensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    What about this:

    Each race gets a +2 bonus to one of 2 different stats. Dwarves can choose strength or con, elves can choose int or dex, halflings get dex or con, etc.

    Then, when you choose your class, you get a +2 bonus to the main stat of that class, for example wizards get int, rogues get dex, fighters get str, and so on.

    However, the important bit here, is that these two bonuses would not stack. For example, if you were a dwarf fighter, you would get +2 to strength and +2 to constitution. You wouldn't be able to get a +4 bonus to strength.

    This means that any race can be any class just as effectively, but you're still flavored by your race. A dwarven wizard and a elven wizard both get +2 int, but the wizard also gets +2 dex, while the dwarf can get +2 con. Bam, races are different, but also balanced.

    Humans could either get a floating +2 bonus, or a +1 bonus to all stats. I like the latter a bit more, actually, since it would mean a human gets +1 to all stats and +2 to their class stat, making them great for being versatile, which seems to be what humans are supposed to be all about in DnD.

    What do you guys think?
    While I still prefer my solution of getting rid of race entirely, I do think this is much better than how it's currently handled. I approve.
    Last edited by Craft (Cheese); 2012-09-18 at 02:28 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    We're talking past each other. You and Craft see the racial fluff as applying to individuals. It's meant as a generalisation about the entire population.
    The racial fluff is rarely presented as such. Consider this passage from the 3.5 PHB (spoilered for space):

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3.5 PHB
    "Dwarves are slow to laugh or jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those few who earn their trust. Dwarves value gold, gems, jewelry, and art objects made with these precious materials, and they have been known to succumb to greed. They fight neither recklessly nor timidly, but with a careful courage and tenacity. Their sense of justice is strong, but at its worst it can turn into a thirst for vengeance."


    4e was no better:
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4e PHB
    "Dwarves believe in the importance of clan ties and ancestry. They deeply respect their elders, and they honor long-dead clan founders and ancestral heroes. They place great value on wisdom and the experience of years, and most are polite to elders of any race. More so than most other races, dwarves seek guidance and protection from the gods. They look to the divine for strength, hope, and inspiration, or they seek to propitiate cruel or destructive gods. Individual dwarves might be impious or openly heretical, but temples and shrines of some sort are found in almost every dwarven community.

    . . .

    Dwarves never forget their enemies, either individuals who have wronged them or entire races of monsters who have done ill to their kind. Dwarves harbor a fierce hatred for orcs, which often inhabit the same mountainous areas that dwarves favor and which wreak periodic devastation on dwarf communities. Dwarves also despise giants and titans, because the dwarf race once labored as the giants’ slaves. They feel a mixture of pity and disgust toward those corrupted dwarves who still have not freed themselves from the giants’ yoke—azers and galeb duhrs among them."


    Those passages are not saying "this is a generalization about dwarves". These passages are saying, "this is how you pretend to be a dwarf."

    Also, consider how "useful" such stereotypes are. Even if we say (for example) that Americans "are generally, fat", how much of the population does that actually describe? I'm not trying to downplay the fact that 1 in 4 Americans are considered to be "obese", but is that a large enough percentage of the population to justify stereotyping every American?

    And to be clear, I'm not trying to downplay culture or geographic effects on a population; my heart swelled just as large as any Canadian when Sidney Crosby led Team Canada to Hockey Gold during the last Winter Olympics. And yes, living in Canada is going to have a particular effect on how we "do" things compared to say, people who live in Mexico (i.e. we need to worry about where to pile snow in the winter).

    But (and this is important), while individuals are shaped by culture and geographic location, we're not defined by them.

    I might be Canadian, but hell if I can skate (and I'm much better at soccer than I am at hockey). Some of my favorite bands might be more local, but as much as I would like to put bands like Sloan on a pedestal, they're music is not something uniquely Canadian (and their music is influenced primarily by American and British music). As much as I've grown up in winters where one could expect at least one snowstorm during the year, I neither enjoy snow, nor have built any muscle from shoveling it, and certainly do not enjoy some form of "cold resistance".

    I'm sure there's some winter-loving hockey nut who enjoys playing on his Ugly Stick, but I would really prefer if he not be the "Canadian" I'm compared to.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "MANY or MOST frenchmen are smelly, wear silly clothes, eat fancy cheeses, and surrender at the first sign of danger."

    ...Yeah, I don't see how that's any less offensive.
    It is because you're intentionally choosing negative stereotypes. I can't counter the example because I know nothing about France besides that I dislike the language. The stereotypes you listed for dwarves are not particularly insulting traits, whereas the ones you listed for Frenchmen are intentionally only the negative ones.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    It is because you're intentionally choosing negative stereotypes. I can't counter the example because I know nothing about France besides that I dislike the language. The stereotypes you listed for dwarves are not particularly insulting traits, whereas the ones you listed for Frenchmen are intentionally only the negative ones.
    The stereotypes you list for Dwarves are neutral at best. And, I know not everyone's going to agree with me on this one, but I think thinking of people and cultures in terms of stereotypes is harmful even if the stereotypes are positive, like "Asians are math geniuses" or "Dwarves are the greatest blacksmiths."

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The stereotypes you list for Dwarves are neutral at best. And, I know not everyone's going to agree with me on this one, but I think thinking of people and cultures in terms of stereotypes is harmful even if the stereotypes are positive, like "Asians are math geniuses" or "Dwarves are the greatest blacksmiths."
    I don't think many people mind stereotypes like "German engineering is good" or "Asians and Jews tend to have good study ethics". That does not mean that all or even half of said groups fit those descriptions. There are plenty of Asian students who slack off and get bad grades, and plenty of German engineers are terrible. Plenty of dwarves won't be any good at stoneworking, but in the stoneworking industry, the work of dwarven masters will tend to surpass the work of human masters.
    I do think there ought to be a couple of variants of each race published in core, providing maybe three or four different groups or ethnicities of each race.
    As for facial hair, there's no reason male dwarves can't tend to have excessive beard growth. Humans tend to have five fingers.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    Warning! Crazy idea in this post! Get your pitchforks and torches ready now!

    D&D Next should remove Race as having a mechanical impact on the character. If you want to be an Elf, just be an Elf. If you want to be a tiefling, just be a tiefling. Put race where it belongs as an RP element like what your favorite color is or what you plan to do after you retire.
    Legacy. Players are going to want their dark vision, infravision/low light vision, and +1/+2 bonuses to things. I don't mind races having different inherent abilities, I just want humans to be comparable, which was a problem with all RPGs before 3E decided it was ok for humans not to suck.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    Also, consider how "useful" such stereotypes are. Even if we say (for example) that Americans "are generally, fat", how much of the population does that actually describe? I'm not trying to downplay the fact that 1 in 4 Americans are considered to be "obese", but is that a large enough percentage of the population to justify stereotyping every American?

    And to be clear, I'm not trying to downplay culture or geographic effects on a population; my heart swelled just as large as any Canadian when Sidney Crosby led Team Canada to Hockey Gold during the last Winter Olympics. And yes, living in Canada is going to have a particular effect on how we "do" things compared to say, people who live in Mexico (i.e. we need to worry about where to pile snow in the winter).

    But (and this is important), while individuals are shaped by culture and geographic location, we're not defined by them.

    I might be Canadian, but hell if I can skate (and I'm much better at soccer than I am at hockey). Some of my favorite bands might be more local, but as much as I would like to put bands like Sloan on a pedestal, they're music is not something uniquely Canadian (and their music is influenced primarily by American and British music). As much as I've grown up in winters where one could expect at least one snowstorm during the year, I neither enjoy snow, nor have built any muscle from shoveling it, and certainly do not enjoy some form of "cold resistance".
    This is a game, and I wish we could leave the analogues to real life outside. More importantly, this is a fantasy game. What in the world is the point of having fantastic creatures such as elves, dwarves, and dragons; if they don't feel different? If we focus purely on individual differences, then there is no need for racial distinction. But if we have racial distinction, then I ask that we make it mean something. I'm not trying to make a statement on how things are in real life, just how I want them in my fantasy game about elves and dwarves.

    I also have to feel that most people also want their fantasy races to feel different and act different, and those who don't can ignore the racial mechanics and "fluff," and create their own world where everyone is defined purely by individual traits.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    This is a game, and I wish we could leave the analogues to real life outside. More importantly, this is a fantasy game. What in the world is the point of having fantastic creatures such as elves, dwarves, and dragons; if they don't feel different?
    This.

    What on earth is the point of having a variety of different fantasy races if they're all exactly the same?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    Those passages are not saying "this is a generalization about dwarves". These passages are saying, "this is how you pretend to be a dwarf."
    Yep. I think that's the crucial difference being missed here. :)

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    Also, consider how "useful" such stereotypes are. Even if we say (for example) that Americans "are generally, fat", how much of the population does that actually describe? I'm not trying to downplay the fact that 1 in 4 Americans are considered to be "obese", but is that a large enough percentage of the population to justify stereotyping every American?
    About 66% overweight, and 36% obese. It's...pretty common. I'd say we've probably earned that stereotype, given that statistically, we're a lot fatter than any other country. So yeah, describing Americans at large as fat is reasonable.

    Assuming that someone IS fat just because he's an American is rather less reasonable, and has a significant error chance. Much of the problem with stereotypes is in the use, not the mere existence. Extrapolating from the statistics to the individual, in addition to not being scientifically valid, is likely to cause offense. Merely observing that a population exhibits a certain tendency is usually a lot less personal, and a lot less insulting.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    This is a game, and I wish we could leave the analogues to real life outside. More importantly, this is a fantasy game. What in the world is the point of having fantastic creatures such as elves, dwarves, and dragons; if they don't feel different?
    I'm not arguing that you shouldn't have traits that are affected by their physical composition/culture/geography. If you want to say that the Dwarven race gets a +2 bonus to constitution because of their physiology, has darkvision because most of their race is born and/or lives underground, and they get a +2 bonus to history because Dwarven culture tends to pump that kind of stuff into them, fine.

    Just don't make it the default assumption that I love my beard, alcohol, mining, religion, and fighting goblins.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Also, as I mentioned, not all of the differences in race are cultural.

    Dwarves - Constitution bonus? Could reflect that dwarves are NATURALLY hardier. Resistant to poison? Physical difference between dwarves and humans.

    Elves- Keen senses? Could be natural (dogs have better sense of smell than humans, and it's not because they trained it). Intelligence bonus? Maybe elves are, on average, actually born more intelligent to humans. Maybe it's just a natural affinity for magic (maybe there is an inherent 'magicness' to elves and that could also explain the free cantrip). Could be entirely non-cultural.

    I would go so far as saying that MOST of the racial bonuses could easily have an explanation based on the physical differences (not mental). Obvious exceptions include weapon/armor trainings and the 'cultural' guessing in stonecunning. Fearless, maybe. But really, what else couldn't be explained by actual differences between the races?

    It's not like our world where we are all the same species. Elves and dwarves and halflings are DIFFERENT from humans. It's not just culture and minor differences like skin color and eye shape.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Here's the line of fluff from the 3.5 PHB that people read as "dwarves drink a lot":
    "Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their knowledge of the earth’s secrets, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale."
    Bolded bits have to do with their racial Con bonus. A human describing a dwarf might say the dwarf drinks ridiculous amounts, but a dwarf has to drink more than a human to reach the same level of intoxication.
    "Hard work" is probably a combination of culture and Con bonus--to a human, a dwarf might seem able to work particularly long and hard without tiring. "Skill in warfare" and "knowledge of the earth's secrets" are cultural and could be allowed to vary regionally; or, the latter could be an intrinsic part of "dwarfness". Here's a description of dwarves from a Tolkien fan-site:
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    "Dwarves are a race of people who play an important role in Tolkien's stories. They are typically shorter than humans with a stouter build. They are very strong and have a greater endurance than any other race. It is never definitely stated that all dwarves have long beards but it is implied in The Hobbit where Bilbo wears a dwarven cloak, but feels confident that no-one will mistake him for a dwarf since he has no beard.

    Little is said of dwarven women except that they are few in number. According to Gimli, only about one third of all dwarves are female and not all of them marry, so the population of dwarves grows slowly. Dwarven women rarely go abroad and when they do, they dress and appear so similar to their men that other races often cannot tell them apart.

    Since Dwarves were created by Aulë, who was renowned among the Valar for his crafts, the dwarves are likewise known for their skill in crafts. Especially in working metal and stone. They were strong and resistant to any form of domination, and it was extremely rare for any dwarf to fight on the side of evil. "

    And remember, most of modern high fantasy is based on people wanting to play "The Lord of the Rings". Otherwise we wouldn't have elves and orcs and dwarves and halflings all in one game.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashdate View Post
    I'm not arguing that you shouldn't have traits that are affected by their physical composition/culture/geography... Just don't make it the default assumption that I love my beard, alcohol, mining, religion, and fighting goblins.
    I believe nearly all of these distinctions are probably influenced by biology, geography, and culture. Alcohol goes hand in hand with a dwarves naturally high Constitution and hardiness, and especially resistance to poison. Mining, that's a geographical thing. If you live in a mountain, it's natural to at least respect the miners even if you don't mine yourself. Religion? Tied directly to culture. And so forth.

    Most importantly, it strikes me as both flavorful and realistic for most people in such a setting to have and maintain these sorts of stereotypes. I don't want to go bringing in real world examples right after I said not to, so I'll just say history and human nature say that this is what people tend to do.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I think the simplest way to solve the racial stereotypes vs. inherent biology problem, and one I've used to good effect in 3e, would be to split up physical features of the race from the cultural stuff. Give every race 4 features, 2 physical and 2 cultural; dwarves get darkvision and save boosts on the physical side and axe training and stonecunning on the cultural side, and so forth. Then, since culture is split off from biology, if you want to make a nonstandard dwarf (e.g. a hill dwarf raised by gnomes, a culture of sea-dwelling Viking dwarves, etc.) you can swap out the cultural stuff easily. One of the modules they put out could be a list of cultural traits (Desert Dweller, Subterranean, Primitive, Mercantile, etc.) for DMs to use for inspiration when creating new "subraces."

    Heck, you could turn cultural traits into backgrounds as well. Make a Dwarven Heritage background (and one for all the other races, of course) that comes with some stereotypical dwarf-y skills and lets you pick one of the two dwarf cultural traits (if you're not a dwarf) or gives you social perks with dwarves as a dwarven elder or the like (if you are a dwarf), so playing a "race X raised by dwarves" character or a "I'm the dwarfiest dwarf that ever did dwarf" character is nice and easy. You could also take this further to do things like arbitrary half-X races that take two biology trait groups instead of one biology and one culture, or tie certain ability bonuses to culture and certain to biology for more granular mixing, or similar, but those things are probably best left to modules.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I echo that humanoid species should be different, way more different than they generally are in fantasy games. My opinion on the matter is that if you could use humans for something, you don't need elves and dwarves or the like; to justify using them, you must have differences that go way beyond culture and into basic physiology and psychology.

    Both would realistically mean that non-humans would not have identical spectrum of emotions and thinking as humans. Yes, this makes them harder to roleplay, but some of us like the challenge. I'm sick and tired of hearing that any non-human should be able to support every human personality.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I think the simplest way to solve the racial stereotypes vs. inherent biology problem, and one I've used to good effect in 3e, would be to split up physical features of the race from the cultural stuff.
    There are also fundamental issues with how cultures are presented. Essentially every edition of D&D has presented racial monocultures defined by trends, which largely ignores the interaction with individuals. This is incorrect and unbelievable on a number of points - the idea of racial cultures that nonetheless produce racially diverse adventuring groups is inherently suspect, particularly when trade is explicitly noted as part of the culture; monocultures are essentially absurd, and the use of trends exclusively is shallow. A better approach would be to look at cultures in the sense of pressures, many of which are inherently contradictory, where cultures are not monocultures but instead have factions and subcultures within them which vary in pressures exerted on the members of those societies. Added to that, there is the matter of geographical and climatological effects regarding societies, social pressures, and social development. Take dwarven alcoholism - if you couch that in terms of social pressures regarding individual and clan honor, their conflict, the association between alcohol and stresses that come from this conflict, geographic encouragement for alcohol development, physiological responses to alcohol, cultural pressures that are largely homogenous regarding alcohol being a positive influence as a social lubricant, and the idea of alcohol as a symbolic ritual demonstrating toughness in the presence of cultural pressures encouraging it it becomes much less a stupid looking stereotype and much more a believable cultural element. If you then add in variety among clans, geographical regions, etc. then there is some depth, particularly if racially heterogenous areas are taken into account.

    Care would need to be taken to prevent the emergence of a mandatory setting, but through the presentation of multiple possibilities for the various races, cultures, geographical regions, etc. that could be avoided. I'm not optimistic about this being the way things are done, but the team might move towards it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I echo that humanoid species should be different, way more different than they generally are in fantasy games. My opinion on the matter is that if you could use humans for something, you don't need elves and dwarves or the like; to justify using them, you must have differences that go way beyond culture and into basic physiology and psychology.

    Both would realistically mean that non-humans would not have identical spectrum of emotions and thinking as humans. Yes, this makes them harder to roleplay, but some of us like the challenge. I'm sick and tired of hearing that any non-human should be able to support every human personality.
    +1 to that.

    Dwarves for example. If they're extra-tough and highly resistant to poison, then it makes sense that they drink all the time like there's no tommorow. They can afford to do so. It may sound like a cultural diference, but it's actually based on a physical characteristic.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    What about this:

    Each race gets a +2 bonus to one of 2 different stats. Dwarves can choose strength or con, elves can choose int or dex, halflings get dex or con, etc.

    Then, when you choose your class, you get a +2 bonus to the main stat of that class, for example wizards get int, rogues get dex, fighters get str, and so on.

    However, the important bit here, is that these two bonuses would not stack. For example, if you were a dwarf fighter, you would get +2 to strength and +2 to constitution. You wouldn't be able to get a +4 bonus to strength.

    This means that any race can be any class just as effectively, but you're still flavored by your race. A dwarven wizard and a elven wizard both get +2 int, but the wizard also gets +2 dex, while the dwarf can get +2 con. Bam, races are different, but also balanced.

    Humans could either get a floating +2 bonus, or a +1 bonus to all stats. I like the latter a bit more, actually, since it would mean a human gets +1 to all stats and +2 to their class stat, making them great for being versatile, which seems to be what humans are supposed to be all about in DnD.

    What do you guys think?
    I was thinking the same thing earlier today. Not all the same in the details, but the basic idea: that if race and class stat bonuses don't stack, it will reduce the effect of "pigeonholing" certain races into certain classes.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    It may also be beneficial to allow a few classes to get bonuses to one of two abilities, for example a fighter should also be able to choose dexterity over strength if they're going for a archery or finesse weapons. I don't think every class needs this though, for example it's hard to imagine a wizard that doesn't want intelligence, or a cleric that doesn't want wisdom, or a rogue that doesn't want dexterity.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    +1 to that.

    Dwarves for example. If they're extra-tough and highly resistant to poison, then it makes sense that they drink all the time like there's no tommorow. They can afford to do so. It may sound like a cultural diference, but it's actually based on a physical characteristic.
    On a roughly similar note, I made goblins in one of my games capable of tolerating much higher proportions of carbondioxide in the air, so they could live in more cramped underground tunnels. This became a huge plotpoint, as it meant human characters could not go into all places where goblins could (humans would suffocate) - ignorant of this fact, they tried to use a captured goblin to tell when the air would get too poisonous, and almost walked into their own doom because of it!

    This sparked an idea for my current setting-in-progress: each non-human race is able to survive in conditions that would be lethal or near-impossible for human to live in without benefits of near-modern equipment. For example, one race is uniquely suited to living in tundra and glaciers, one can naturally dive deep and even breathe water, in addition to the goblins who can breathe poisonous air.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    for example it's hard to imagine a wizard that doesn't want intelligence, or a cleric that doesn't want wisdom, or a rogue that doesn't want dexterity.
    On the Wizard and Cleric I have to agree, as long as we're stuck with the classic D&D magic-fluff where those are their casting-stats.

    But Rogues ... not. I can easily come up with Rogue character concepts who would prefer Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma over Dexterity.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    On the Wizard and Cleric I have to agree, as long as we're stuck with the classic D&D magic-fluff where those are their casting-stats.

    But Rogues ... not. I can easily come up with Rogue character concepts who would prefer Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma over Dexterity.
    I didn't mean to say that all rogues would want dexterity as their main stat, I meant that all rogues would benefit from a high dexterity. Unless there's a way to build the rogue that I haven't taken into account, this is different from a Fighter who wants to use a bow or a rapier, because such a fighter would get no benefit at all from strength, and in fact it is likely to be their dump stat.

    If you want to be a rogue that focuses on Int, or Charisma, then you may want to choose a race that boosts that stat, so that you can get it higher than normal. It'd fine if halflings make better charming rogues, and dwarves make better tough rogues, and elves make better skilled rogues. That adds diversity to the game and make race more meaningful. The issue comes in when Halflings or elves or dwarves become the best race for ALL kinds of rogues, which ends up reducing diversity and making race choice less meaningful, since the race and class are tied so closely together.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    On a roughly similar note, I made goblins in one of my games capable of tolerating much higher proportions of carbondioxide in the air, so they could live in more cramped underground tunnels. This became a huge plotpoint, as it meant human characters could not go into all places where goblins could (humans would suffocate) - ignorant of this fact, they tried to use a captured goblin to tell when the air would get too poisonous, and almost walked into their own doom because of it!

    This sparked an idea for my current setting-in-progress: each non-human race is able to survive in conditions that would be lethal or near-impossible for human to live in without benefits of near-modern equipment. For example, one race is uniquely suited to living in tundra and glaciers, one can naturally dive deep and even breathe water, in addition to the goblins who can breathe poisonous air.
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